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Canadian Government Proposes Mandatory Data Breach Reporting

The Canadian Government proposed changes to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) that would force organizations to report personal information breaches to both the privacy commissioner and the affected individuals.

The changes are part of a proposed bill that died on the floor of parliment when Canada went to the polls to elect a new government this past May.
"Ensuring trust and confidence through the protection of personal information is essential to the growth of the digital economy.  Our government will continue to help protect consumers and businesses from the misuse of their personal information, thereby increasing confidence in the online marketplace." - Industry Minister Christian Paradis

Organizations would be required to inform individuals if there had been a breach that might result in 'significant harm' to an individual.   Significant harm could be defined as identity theft, fraud or risk to a person's reputation.

Other changes that could be made to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) could include:

  • Clarifications that organizations can disclose personal information requested by government institutions and law enforcement and security agencies without a warrant, subpoena or court order.  The change would prohibit such organizations from notifying those affected by the disclosure of their personal information if the law enforcement or government institution requesting the information objects to the disclosure.

  • Changes to the Act would allow for the release of personal information to help protect victims of financial abuse, locate missing persons or identify people who might be injured, ill or deceased.

  • Disclosure of personal information without consent would be allowed for private sector investigations and fraud prevention.

  • Consent would no longer be required for the collection, use and disclosure of information needed for managing employment relationships, information produced for work purposes, information used for due diligence in business transactions, or business contact information for day-to-day business.


 References:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2011/09/29/technology-data-breach-pipeda-privacy.html

http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?mthd=ntnl&crtr.page=1&nid=625419&crtr.tp1D

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